Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spooktacular September

Let's be scared of something fun!! Did you know it's Spooktacular September over at Eighteen25? I love me some Halloween fun!!! My beautiful Clancey Dylan was due on Halloween...October 31. Wouldn't that be a blast? Halloween parties EVERY YEAR!! But he came on October 26...close enough to count. :-)
Tomorrow is September 1...it's officially time to decorate for fall.

(And I couldn't stand looking at that last awful pathetic post at the top of my blog ANYMORE.)


Have you ever heard the Plato quote....."Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." How often do any of us really think about that? No matter how wonderful you think someone's life is....they have a battle....one that you might know nothing about.

Usually I am the type that holds those battles inside...I'm an "internalizer." Maybe that's why blogging is perfect for me....it allows me to put things out into the world and not hold my cards so darn close all the time.

Today I'm scared. I'm also a "the worst case is of course going to happen to me" type person. Frankly, the last words you want to hear out of a radiologist's mouth are "everything seems fine....but..."

It's the "but" that I will hold onto until this pesky little M&M-sized troublemaker is gone. Then there's another wait......the pathology. Are there worse words? Pathology....needle biopsy....it all adds up to a heap of "I'm scared."

But really....scared of what? An unknown, that with 98% certainty will come to pass as just a pesky little M&M that will be gone.

And in case anyone needed reminding of how wonderful my boys are......my little guy, just two years old, sat with me in the ultrasound room today in a little chair.....and when we were all alone he said the words I don't think I will ever forget. He looked at me with his sweet little face and said "It's okay Mama, I'm here." I didn't think I looked scared....maybe I did.

So in an effort to UN-internalize my fear....I'm sharing it....and saying it's okay to be scared.....but I refuse to wallow in it for a week.

I'm going to make more salsa.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Ode to American Muscle....and Visitors

We had lots of unexpected visitors this weekend....and IT.WAS.AWESOME.
Maddie visited.
Emmit visited.

My beautiful sister in law and handsome brother visited. They promise to stay longer next time. I'm holding them to that. ;-)
Uncle Mark, Aunt Ruth and sweet little cousin Amber visited....and brought back my husband's baby. (And we were just so excited to see them I totally forgot to take a photo) The 1968 RS/SS Chevy Camaro came home to roost.....after spending the summer with Uncle Mark getting all fixed up and running great. In all the years since Levi's dad gave him this car it's always been....well....finicky. If you know anything about old cars the terms flutter foot and heel/toe may sound familiar? Levi and I both grew up with "car guys" for dads....we were both plopped into the driver's seat of automobiles that required such skills to operate. I can remember sitting behind the steering wheel of my dad's beloved 1971 Dodge Charger doing the "flutter foot" to keep it running, when I could barely see over the dashboard. Who needed fuel injection? Puh sha. Not us. My first car was a 1963 Plymouth Valiant with a push button automatic transmission. (Just for a little perspective...I was born at the very tailend of 1975....so this baby had been on the road for 12 years before I was a gleem in my mother's eye.) The day we drove it home from it's original owner we were assured NO ONE had EVER sat in the backseat....which I believe to this day....the plastic cover was still on the seat. Oh I loved that car.
But I digress....Levi's pop handed him down THIS car....and he loves it....even more now that it runs so great. Thanks Uncle Mark.
This is one happy man today.
And I remembered why ladies always wore head scarfs back in the day. ;-)
Oh.....and I got to SQUEAL OUT for the very first time EVAH in the Camaro today. Levi would never let me near the driver's seat the way the car ran before....just too scary. (It wouldn't idle...has no power steering or power brakes...and the heel/toe was required for operation....you gotta work to drive this car. ;-)
I would seriously like to thank my husband for teaching me to drive a manual ALL those years ago....so today I could lay rubber.
I promise to walk everywhere I go this week to make up for all the gasoline I used up today. ;-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Clancey, the Dentist

My little guy had his first trip to the dentist a few weeks ago....forgot to post this. Bad mommy. Our hygienist only had a toothbrush out when we sat down...she said normally the two year olds don't let her do anything other than wave a brush around in front of them.
Enter, the Clancster.
By the end of it he had his teeth polished, flossed, fluroide treated, the works. He was such a champ. Then at the end he said "that's enough".
And he was done.
Then promptly came home and gave T-Rex an exam and cleaning....with a pencil specialized t-rex dental equipment.

Future dentist?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Day of First Grade

Today was my big guy's first day of first grade. And that happened....uh....how? First grade? Wasn't he just born? I'm pretty sure he was. I only get to have him, full time, for twelve more years. That's just not enough. He's just so great.
He's so fearless now....so independent....a "big kid".

On Monday night we attended the school's "back to school" night...a chance to drop off the armloads of supplies in their classroom, meet their teacher, find their locker. Yes, world, he has a locker now....and a desk.....a tiny, brown desk with his name on it. His teacher gave him this bus to color and bring back. Okay, so I have the most open minded worldly six year old on the planet. I'm just sayin'. Do you see the people on his bus?
Take a closer look. And trust me....we live in Iowa....enough said. White bread capital of the world. Oh how I miss Ames....my college town....diversity. But my little guy gets it...even if he doesn't see it everyday.
And little brother couldn't be outdone. (I'm getting the hang of this mommy gig....I photocopied the bus before Marsh started....I knew Clanc would want to color one too!!) He's equally equal opportunity....blue people, pink people....green dogs...we've got it all.)
So in honor of the first day we baked chocolate chip zucchini bread (and another very not healthy treat not to be mentioned....but oh how delicious....he he he.)
And while I baked my big guy did this....just because he wanted to help mommy, he said. And he did an awesome job.
I gave birth to him, he's all mine....for twelve more years at least.....
and then I'll just beg him to come home from college every weekend. ;-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Salsa Day

Salsa day today....more salsa tomorrow. I'm pooped.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jalapeno Jelly

We've had an abundance of jalapenos this year. Yay jalapenos! There are so many delicious things to do with jalapenos.....and one of them is jalapeno jelly. A little schmeer on some cream cheese is SO GOOD!!

And Marshall approved.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Do you ever have those days when you Just.Need.A.Break? As my oldest would say "a little alone time." Maybe it's hormonal? Instinctual? Product of being a full time Mommy? Whatever....you just need a darn breather. Yesterday AM the hubster headed out on a 100 mile bike ride (yes it was on purpose, he didn't get lost.) Our doc has suggested a head examination....I would have to agree. All people who sign up for an Ironman Triathlon should have their heads thoroughly probed. On purpose, without threat of imminent demise, they say hey, yeah, I'd REALLY like to jump in a freezing cold lake, swim 2.4 miles with 2000 other crazy people who are kicking me in the face in an effort to outswim me, drag their worn out bodies out of the water with brains that feel like jello for the first 40 minutes, only to get on a bike (with a really hard seat and jello brain) and ride 112 miles, then get off that bike, pretend like everything is still hunky dory and run a marathon....26.2 miles, on their own sheer insane determination. It takes a special breed. Wacko breed....and I couldn't be prouder.
Anyway, we still cheer Daddy on....which we did yesterday AM....and handed him Power Bars.

After said insane working out yesterday.....the crazy man I married got up this AM and ran 12.5 miles. By the time all that was over we were all ready to get out of the house.....well the boys were anyway. And my husband suggested I just take it easy....which after weeks of doing "boy duty" all week and all weekend....I didn't need a lot of persuasion. So I allowed myself to not think of all the pressing issues that cause my anxiety to go through the roof at times. I thought, this is a day for me...all me....I'm going to be selfish and not think of washing anyone's underwear or working on the endless list of house projects....or anything else for that matter. AND I'm going to eat whatever I darn well please....and not think about whether it's healthy, chemically treated, bad for the Amazon jungle, or high carb.

So, in that vein of thinking....I started a project. Now I know you're thinking...you weren't supposed to be working on anything. But repainting a Goodwill lamp has no global consequences...it doesn't need to be done, I was curious how this brassy gal would look in white....and it's my day darnit.
And I ate a cupcake while I did it.

She looks good, huh?

Well we have the primer out anyway.....so let's attack another lamp. Isn't this a beauty? ;-)

Ooohhh.....I love her. This one will be headed to the boys' room when it's redecorated.
And while I waited for this to dry.....I ate another cupcake....

.....and made this pretty for the front door.....with hydrangeas from the yard.

AND THEN......I ate ALL OF THIS for lunch. And I don't even feel bad about it. I mean really it was health food....cherry tomatoes from the garden, frig pickles from my own cukes, and Pioneer Woman Wrapped Jalapenos, again from my own jalapenos. (and the bacon was turkey, and I used neufchatel) he he he......health food.

And while I ate ALL my health food I watched this.....I even watched ALL the trailers.

My boys came home, with these in hand, and ta-da, Mommy was a new Mommy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Melon Vanilla Jam

I did it!!
I made jam....and it actually kinda looks like jam!
Miss Effie and Michael will be so proud.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Funny Story

My folks love hearing funny stories about the boys.....so here is the one for today. :-)
Today my little guy went down for a nap...and was sleeping very peacefully until a crazy thunderstorm blew through. He's terrified of thunder....and of course there was LOTS of thunder. He came down the stairs like a herd of thundering cattle. Or cattle singular...cow maybe?
He ran to me and said "where's Daddy?"
Me: Well he's still at work babe.
Clancey: "NO, he needs to come home RIGHT NOW and protect me from the thunder."
Long pause......
Clancey: "Or we could just have drinks and forget about it."

(Don't worry people....he's not hitting the sauce.
Drinks=skim milk for he and brother, Diet 7-Up for me)

Drying Cherry Tomatoes...Part Deux

So.....rememmmmber.....a couple days agooooooo.......when I said I was sundrying cherry tomatoes? Well I was, actually, sundrying tomatoes......but then......we had a problem. A problem with a little thing I like to call butts with wings. Yes, those would be flies. Flies like to be little Houdini's and find a way under the cheesecloth. Do you know what butts with wings do to drying tomatoes? I'm sure you can use your imagination. They all ended up in the compost. Bummer. Anyway, Dad is on the job.....he's engineering a "butt free" sundrying contraption.....we will succeed darnit.

In the meantime I still have tomato plants that are producing fruit by the bucketful....literally.
Attempt #2.
Ovendrying. Cut in half, sprinkle with salt and chopped fresh basil.

Dry in the oven for 2 hours. That's what the recipe said anyway....the recipe writer must have lived on the moon in the desert, or at the elevation of Mt. Everest, or had a convection oven (I don't even know what these are but they sound fancy), or a magic wand....
or very possibly all four.

They took NINE hours to dry. Ultimately this does not seem like the best use of natural gas....if you had none to cook supper with tonight it is because I used it all up drying cherry tomatoes. But let me tell you, they are darn tasty.
Back to sundrying when the contraption is completed.

Now I need to figure out THIS situation.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Plant Eaters

Goodbye old friends. The new gals have come to town....thanks to CSN Stores! The thought of cooking one more thing in a pan that had scratched "nonstick" coating made me cringe....so the new stuff got here in the nick of time!!
There are sauce pans and stock pots and lids....oh the lids galore.....and skillets...oh my.

This morning I tested out the tiny skillet....or whatever a tiny skillet's name really is? The garden overfloweth....and I'm a veggie-in-my-eggs kinda girl. Ever since gestational diabetes scared the livin' sugar right out of me I try to be very proteiny at breakfast....and attempt to avoid sugar the rest of the time as well....if I have the willpower that is. ;-) Anyhoo.....a few eggs from Miss Effie....some cherry tomatoes, a Sonoran chile and some zucchini slices and we're ready to roll!

I sauteed the veggies in a little olive oil, threw in the eggs and a tiny bit of sliced ham (I'm a meatavore....once in a while).
Funny side story....yesterday my oldest (6) told my youngest (2) that if he had lived in dinosaur times they (the dinosaurs) would have liked to lick him (the two year old).....after seeing the look of horror on his brother's face (we'd just read a book about t-rex's) he assured him that ONLY the plant eaters would have licked him.....therefore they wouldn't have decided to take a munch on him.

Oh, and the tiny skillet worked great. They're so shiny they make me smile. :-) Maybe a pot rack is in the future of my kitchen too.....Dad are you taking notes?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Crazy Squash Patch

The official squash photographer
The squash patch to end all squash patches. That is what we have on our hands. We've attempted to grow them before....with maybe two or three actually surviving til harvest. Then came this year. It just so happens that with the winter from h-e-double hockey sticks, we couldn't plod through the snow all the way to the back compost bin.....so we just dumped it in a little spot in the garden. Spring came, we planted our squash seeds....then the squash went crazy. My brilliant six year old reminded me that this spot was the very same spot we dumped our compost....so it DOES work!

This is one of the giants that keeps growing...and growing....and growing.

And yes, that is a TWELVE inch ruler.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Drying Cherry Tomatoes

We will dub today "Day of the Cherry Tomato". They will not win this year....I will win....I will dry out their little red butts...they will not laugh at me until the first frost...mocking my inability to use them all up. HA HA cherry tomatos!! I SHALL WIN!!
They are making a valiant effort to produce more than any human can possibly harvest.

I set up my little drying racks...I used screens that were in the basement...they need to be plastic screen (not sure what would happen with metal...rust?).

Sliced each one in half. Sprinkled the whole show with a tad of salt to speed up the process.

Then invited them all to the Big Top. Where they shall shrivel and dry....and delight us all winter long. :-)

Introducing my evil assistant....my doer of dastardly deeds....okay, he just handed me the tomatoes...I did the dirty work.
And it's best to do your dastardly deeds in
inside out, backwards underpants, with dinosaur rain boots on.

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